Friday, December 28, 2012


Pittsburgh Pirates (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: ARRRGGGHH!! The Pirates played like barnacle incrusted clams last year, finishing with only 71 wins. Far below my lofty prediction of 83 wins. I thought with some good FA signing the Pirates were ready to Rape,Pillage and Plunder. But they were scuttled early by below average hitting (.257 BA-21st) and pitching (4.88 ERA-26th). Ardthomp did improve his defensive squad with .984 FPct and 101 errors. This was an improvement over season 18's .982 FPct and 113 errors. In the offseason Ardthomp re-signed Karim Paniagua and let Durazo,Lewis,Evers and Wright go to free agency. Then he released Martin outright. To fill in the gaps, Ardthomp signed free agents Stern and Middlebrook and promoted Molina,Clark and Flores. Ardthomp knows how to play this game and he made some moves to get this team on the right track. Them Pirates will be pillaging at a location near you!PREDICTION:81-81

OUT: Javier Manzanillo , Hal Middlebrook , Delanor Meacham , Josh Parker , Will Schoendienst

IN: Hector Padilla , Clarence Christiansen , Todd Flores , Roy Cousins , Luis Rodriguez

ARDTHOMPS PREVIEW: After seven seasons of missing the playoffs,the Pirates finished off a great comeback in the AL East Division and captured the division pennant. They will be looking to build upon this playoff appearance and decided that minor changes are the best way to continue their success.On offense, rookie Todd Flores will be looked upon to provide some power with his bat. He, along with Carlos Gomez and Vic Flores, could make this a top notch power lineup in the AL.Defensively, the Pirates called up rookie defensive whiz Roy Cousins. Cousins will be learning the ropes from veteran SS, Freddy Stahoviak, though Cousins may end up moving over to 3B before it is all said and done.On pitching, Pittsburg brought back their starting rotation from last season and added 8 time All-Star Hector Padilla and 5 time All-Star Luis Rodriguez to the staff to help tighten down the bullpen.The Pirates expect another playoff run, so anything less than that will be seen as a major disappointment and a fire sale could be the outcome.

PREVIEW: Ardthomp busted off the barnacles last year and got his Pirates sailing in the right direction. They broadsided the AL East and won the division by edging out the Wingdings with 85 wins. In the post-season Pittsburgh slipped by the Salmonbellies, then lost to the scurvey P-Dogs in the DCS. Last year the Pirates had very good pitching (3.92 team ERA-6th) and below average hitting (.256 team BA-25th) and defense (109 errors-23rd). In the offseason Ard re-signed Karim Paniagua and  Julian Stern then let Manzanillo, Middlebrook, Meacham and Parker go to free agency. He traded Schoendienst to Trenton to finish cleaning out the Ship. The Pirates need a few Scurvey Dogs so they signed free agents Padilla and Christiansen. Then Flores and Cousins were promoted from the poop deck and Rodriguez was shanghaied in a trade. The Pirates pitching got some help with the addition of Padilla, Christiansen and Rodriguez. If they pitch to thier potential, the Pirates may celebrate another division champion-ship. And Pirates love ships!!PREDICTION: 88-74

Washington D.C.
Washington D.C. Wingdings (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The Hartford Crushers replaced their longtime owner ARomano with taz21 midway thru last year. Aromano is a friend and he will be missed by Wrigleyville. Taz did a great job filling in and handed the reins over to Goldenbaer88 who outbid many other worthy canidates. This team was moved to Washington D C to be closer to Goldenbaers Digs and his favorite Tittie bars. Last year this team had the 3rd best hitting team (.282 BA) but one of the worst fielding squads( .982 FPct-28th). And stuck in the middle was the average pitching staff (4.53 ERA-17th) . Goldenbaer will have some work to do in the offseason so first he let Lieber,Hull,Graham and Flores go to free agency. Then he traded away Bonilla and waived Sosa. Goldenbaer promoted Pena,Harris and Wieters and traded for Brea,West and Sabel. We knew it was just a matter of time before Goldenbaer tapped the talent in the farm system. With the promotions and players brought in thru trades, this team is stout. But they are young with 11 players under 27. This team should win the division but don't be suprised if they stumble in the post season.PREDICTION:90-72

OUT: Tony Pena , Bennie Davis , Denny McCormick , Rob Stults , Tito Brea

IN: Marv Trombley , Cristobal Beltran , Julio Johnson

PREVIEW: The Wingdings did not win the division as I predicted, sorry for the Jinx Goldenbaer. They did however win 83 games and finished the year strong by winning 8 out of the final 10 games. Last year Washington was the #2 offense in Wrigleyville hitting .281 as a team. The pitching (5.00 team ERA-29th) was bad and the defense (105 errors-21st) was below average. In the offseason Goldenbaer re-signed Felix Ramirez , Kenny Byrne then let Pena, Davis and McCormick go to free agency. And he traded away Stults and waived Brea. Goldenbaer has only a few roster spots open ,so he first signed free agent Trombley. Then he traded for Beltran and Johnson. Looks like Goldenbaer diagnosed last years weakness and brought in some arms. The three pitchers should get the Wing Dings out of the basement in overall pitching ERA. Thats why they will battle for the division title and have a good shot at the post-season.PREDICTION:90-72


LAST YEARS PREVIEW: It's another sub-500 season for the Knights. The Knights have always been good at swinging their Swords and last year was no different. With the 7th ranked hitting team ( .275 BA) and a average defense (.984 FPct-15th). Boston was betrayed by the worst pitching staff (5.50 ERA-32nd) in Wrigleyville. In the offseason Avantrael let Lilly,Valdez znd Calvo go to free agency. Then he released White and traded away Perez.With only a few roster spots open, Avantrael signed free agents Jennings, Lieber and promoted Delgado. He then traded for Quinn to complete the roster. The pitching is still the problem and until Avantrael addresses this.....The sun will set on the Knights early in season 20. PREDICTION:75-87

OUT: Sidney Tresh , Quinn Collins


The Knights won 70 games last year, 5 games below my prediction. Boston had the worst pitching team last year with a team ERA of 5.47 . The hitting (.264 team BA-18th) and defense (97 errors-16th) was about average. In the offseason Avantrael let Tresh and Collins go to free agency and this was the only offseason moves.I took a longer look at this team because...well...I didn't see much change in the offseason. I noticed the pitchers weren't really as bad as thier 5.47 ERA. They also are getting no help with Mule Bennett and Petey Lieber at Centerfield. I found some other things I might change, but a really Rangy CF would help the pitchers out immensly. The Knights will not be riding into the post-season with this roster.PREDICTION:72-90

Louisville Howlers (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: This was a easy prediction seeing how the Howlers are in a Re-build. The Howlers defense was suprisingly good with a FPct of .985 and only 91 errors. The real story here are the players picked up in the draft like Sam Price  and the lack of any noteable IFA signings by the Howlers. It was tough to land a big IFA with all the cash being handed out in the IFA market. In the offseason Jmuhtoff re-signed Lyle Ruffin and let Vazquez,Corez,Hamilton,Moreno,Goodwin,Walton and Lemon. Then he released Millard and Tobin to complete the house cleaning. Jmuhtoff needs alot of players to replace the departed , so he first spent over 34 million on free agents Castro,Cirillo,Krueter,Lim and Elder. Then he promoted Bonilla and Lecuona and picked up Diaz in the R-5. Finally he traded for Perez and claimed Sosa and Maranon off the waiver wire. Whew!! that was some house cleaning. Gentlemen let me introduce the new look Howlers. They are a combination of good free agents with some juicy youngsters.They may be the most improved team from last year and could hit the .500 mark. Next year will be even better after some of the kids are cooked.  PREDICTION:81-81

OUT: Ross Griffin , Chris Sosa , Cedrick Meyers , Coco West

IN:  Bob Neugebauer , Esteban Campos , Gene Weston , Glen Swann , Denny McCormick , Cesar Morales , Bruce Burrell

PREVIEW: Looks like it may take a little more cooking time for the new Howlers. Louisville won only 68 games last year with average hitting (.267 team ERA-15th).bad pitching (4.99 team ERA-28th) and below average defense (108 errors-24th). In the offseason Jmuhtoff re-signed Robin Cirillo and  Randy Lowell then let Griffin, Sosa and Meyers go to free agency. He then traded away West to bring in Neugebauer. With some holes to plug, Jmuhtoff claimed Campos off the wire and signed free agents Weston, Swann, McCormick and Morales. Then he promoted Burrell to finish out this years roster.Last year I predicted the Howlers would be the most improved team....That didn't turnout to be true. Pitching and Defense were the downfall of last years team. Weston and Morales should help, But I will wait and see if this collection of talented players, play like they should. PREDICTION:80-82

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